Ray Massucco Concert Series continues with Chris Smither at BF Opera House

BELLOWS FALLS — American acoustic blues artist Chris Smither burst onto the singer-songwriter scene in the late 1960s with a distinctive finger-picking style and voice.

Originally from New Orleans but now a Bay State resident as well, Smither "amassed major fans, folks like Lowell George, the late founder of Little Feat; Townes Van Zandt, who always credited Smither with saving his life in a Florida swimming pool one hazy night; and Bonnie Raitt, whose recording of Smither's 'Love You Like A Man' entered the pantheon of stone-cold classics any number of years ago," say promoters.

With 18 albums under his belt, Smither returns to Vermont for the third Ray Massucco Concert Series show on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Bellows Falls Opera House.

Opening the show is Matt Lorenz, a.k.a. The Suitcase Junket, who builds his own instruments from scrap and salvage, and homesteads in Western Massachusetts.

Lorenz has collaborated with Smither on several albums, laying down rhythms behind Smither's steadily tapping toe and Mississippi John Hurt guitar figures.

"I've known The Suitcase Junket a few years now and am really glad he's on the bill with me," says Smither. "I am looking forward to returning to the beautiful Bellows Falls Opera House. It's been way too long. It's good to see it's so well-loved. If only all historic old concert halls were so lucky."

Massucco, for whom the series is named, was a local lawyer and music supporter and died unexpectedly in September, 2022.

The final concert of the 2023 series is scheduled for November 5, featuring the Vermont Symphony Orchestra with vocalist Kat Wright.

Next Stage Arts of Putney is co-presenting the series with Ray's The Roof Productions. The media sponsor is Great Eastern Radio. The Bellows Falls Opera House is located at 7 Village Square. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., showtime is 7:30 p.m. For tickets and information, visit or call 802-387-0102.

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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